Benefits of SLS

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by patentesq, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,587
    Likes Received:
    0
    At Founder's Day and on several other occasions, my DS was asked whether he attended SLS before receiving his USMA appointment. He never applied to SLS, because he wasn't even aware of SLS.

    My daughter (who is currently a freshman in HS) has recently expressed an interest in West Point as well, so I now have some questions about SLS.

    1. Is SLS supposed to give candidates a "bump" in their USMA application?

    2. Is SLS merely designed to give candidates a "taste" of West Point (with the benefit of getting an early CFA)?

    If it is the former, then my daughter may consider it. However, if it is the latter, then she will be likely able to get a lot of information from her brother about the process and likely won't attend.

    Any advice is appreciated, and I will definitely pass on what you folks think. Good news is that she has a couple of years before she has to apply for SLS.

    I tried to search for the answer to this question, but couldn't find it without veering off topic from a prior SLS thread (if there is a thread on point please direct me and accept my apologies).
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  2. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    699
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would 100% recommend she goes to SLS-
    As to your questions:
    1. Although I don't know if SLS has a specific point value (such as adding 5 points to your WCS, which I doubt), it does look good with you extracurricular/leadership type stuff
    2. The sls application allows you to get the ball rolling sooner on your actual application to west point. The login info, web address, parts of the application all transfer over to your real application. Also, in addition to the early CFA, you will get an early DODMERB appointment, which can be a big help if any waiver issues come up.

    All in all, SLS was a great experience. It was great to learn about what cadets that were still there thought about pretty much everything and to hear it in person rather than reading through a short description in a press release online. You also get the chance to meet some of your future classmates, possibly future teachers, and hear from the admissions people themselves what they want to see.
     
  3. chief_bs

    chief_bs Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    SLS - What we were told at the Parent Briefing this week

    My son (who has his appointment for 2015) stayed overnight this week. During the parent briefing (which had a mix of parents like me and those who were just "checking the place out," this is what I learned.

    1.) We were told by the Admissions officer that SLS did not, by itself, do anything to improve your score/chances of getting admission. Many get into West Point without it.


    2.) It does give them a taste of West Point. My son passed everthing in the CFA except the mile at SLS. The experience helped him know where he stood and he brushed up and did his final CFA at the high school in the early fall. He also got the chance to make a good first impression with the cadre, which I'm sure counted for something.

    The biggest benefit I see having gone through the whole process now (and the parent briefing), was that it got my son's file started very early. Applying to SLS started his file. When he came back, he was motivated to finish his file (with a little mom/dad motivation). He got his DODMERB physical done in August. As I recall, he got authorization to do this early by applying in parallel for ROTC - but th physical counted for both this and West Point. He got his CFA completed in September (finishing his file except for the nomination). He got an LOA in October. With the rolling admission process at West Point, I'm sure the LOA happened as early as it did because his file was done (showing motivation) and he had the traits they were looking for. If the file was done later, they may not have had as many open slots left for him to fill. He got his Nomination interview in early November. Our Congressman (Tim Murphy - PA-18) called to inform his of his Appointment in mid December. The congressman relayed to our son that he was suprised that he was going to get to fill two slots this year because he had two candidates with LOAs.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    378
    Likes Received:
    29
    I'll second what chief bs says about it helping give you the ability to finish your file early. I attended, file opened first week of July, and I essentially finished my entire file by end of July. The CFA I was able to use from SLS so I didn't have to worry about doing that when I got home, and my teachers were all prepared to fill out my evaluations over the break. The other thing was my DoDMERB request came early and I was able to get that done very early in the process. This is a great thing if you are in the position of needing a waiver for a DQ which can take time that candidates sometimes just run out of. I received my LoA in October (had squad mates who received even earlier then that) which was great for me since I had a presidential nomination and received my appointment before any of the congressional deadlines even happened in my state.

    The other reasons I would recommend SLS are more intangibles. We lived at West Point before when my dad was stationed there so I've had a lot of interactions with the cadets and their lifestyles and had a pretty good idea of what West Point was about, but it was still great to get a little taste of what cadets do first hand. What was really cool I think as a female attendee was the part of the session where female attendees were alone with the female cadre and we had discussions about everything and anything you wouldn't talk about if there were guys around. The cadre was awesome and honestly enthusiastic in answering your questions.

    Another thing would be that you meet kids from all over the country with similar goals to you, and you work on your networking a bit. I still talk to all the kids in my squad, and we used each other to bounce questions and ideas off of when they came up through the process, tell each other good/bad news about the process, etc which was a cool resource to have. Its cool to have those friends, some of which we'll be meeting up with on R-day to start our new adventure.

    Our cadre was also great and he has answered questions from us throughout the school year, not just at SLS. I was thankful that I did my interview with him as it was a lot easier to talk to someone I knew for almost a week and had seen me performing for him to write down and ask questions versus your generic interview with a MALO who you might not necessarily know all that well.

    So yea, to conclude, i think its a great resource if you are able to attend, and I had a blast which was awesome. If your kid needs to decide between academies like I did, this is one resource to get a taste of each if the ability to attend the seminars is there.
     
  5. another13mom

    another13mom Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    2
    SLS

    My son was not accepted into SLS, and is now a Yuk. While I can understand how doing SLS might answer questions for those who aren't certain they want to attend, in the long run, an overnight visit or even a day visit can accomplish the same thing. My daughter is also considering applying and, frankly, I think her time would be better spent finishing the application early and scheduling either a day visit in the fall or an overnight if granted an LOA or an offer later in the process. I think the overnight visits or day shadowing visits provide a more realistic opportunity to see plebes' day to day existence.

    As for finishing an application early, given how easy the process is made through the website portal, if a prospective candidate is certain that he or she wants to apply, there really is no reason not to have the application finished by July 1st (or mid-July at the latest).

    If (1) the essay/fill in the blank application is completed when it appears on the website,(2) SAT/ACT scores are forwarded in the spring (either Feb, March, April, May test dates); (3) teacher recommendations are lined up in the Spring of Junior Year (ask your teachers and let them know that they will receive an email fairly early in comparison to other college applications and ask if they can please prepare the letter before leaving for the summer), and (4) arrange for an official school transcript to be sent as soon as grades are completed in June, then the ball is rolling. If most of these steps are followed (especially the first two), the Dodmerb stuff will be available and can be completed before July 1st, as can the CFA (talk w/ a gym teacher before school gets out and set up a day to complete it).

    I think the folks at USMA have done a phenomenal job of making an enormous task of applying and qualifying academically, medically and physically straight-forward for even the most normal (disorganized, brain-scattered, procratinating) 17 year old. It's just a matter of looking at the checklist and getting it done.

    The only wrinkle is timing the SAT -- I would recommend getting the official college board big blue test book and actually taking a full length practice test with someone timing the test to replicate realistic testing conditions. The book is about $25 at Barnes and Noble and has several practice tests. Take one. If you score above the mean for WP, then sign up for the next SAT and take it. If you aren't certain how you'll do, wait on the score report (only a few weeks). If you bomb, don't report the score and try again. If you do well (shoot for WP's 75th%), report the score and finish your application.

    As I said, this is about as organized an application process as I've seen and if it's what you want, it can all be done before the first full day at the pool.

    Best of luck -- and kudos to Tim Murphy who is incredibly kind to call each successful candidate and given them the news. Certainly an incredible moment in each candidate's young life.
     
  6. JFM2016

    JFM2016 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wasnt accepted to WP SLS which is a bummer because i really wanted to go, but i was accepted to NASS. Question is, will USNA also tell me to contact DodMERB early like you get to do if you go to SLS. And if they do, then that DodMERB test passes you for all academies right?

    For example, USNA tells me to make appointment with DoDMERB, i pass, then i can use that for USMA too right?

    Thanks, don't know if that really makes sense.
     
  7. Jayhawk2325

    Jayhawk2325 Jayhawk2325

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Would it be safe to say that when determining who receives a nomination, the congressmen tend to lean towards those who attended SLS?
     
  8. HeloPilot_2015

    HeloPilot_2015 USMA Class of 2015

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    0
    As far as nominations goes I doubt that SLS is going to be the one thing that makes you the top choice. That said, it can't hurt to have it on your resume, and more importantly SLS is a terrific experience.
     
  9. mtnman17

    mtnman17 USMA Appointee 2015

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    1
    I do not know if USNA SS will put you on the early dodmerb hit list. Someone who did USNA SS will have to speak to that.

    I have heard that there are certain things that will pass you for one Academy but fail you for another. I don't have specifics. Check the DODMERB section of these forums.

    The actual appt and physical will transfer. I had one appt and it got me qualified medically for USMA, USAFA, and AROTC. But as stated above, certain illnesses/medical history items can pass you off for 'qualified' at one institution but fail you at another.

    Head to the DODMERB section for more information. There's alot of good stuff there. Good luck.




    And onto the original topic, SLS:

    If given the chance to go, go.

    Your questions:
    1. Already been answered. It doesn't give you an added points bonus.
    2. Yes, you get the CFA. But I felt like SLS was really more designed to give us a feel for how a WP education and lifestyle would be.

    It's overall a blast, great experience.
     
  10. jtoye

    jtoye NAPS '12 appointee

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    I went to NASS,but I do not believe going triggered my entry into the DODMERB system,but rather having a certain percentage of my application completed.
     
  11. Jayhawk2325

    Jayhawk2325 Jayhawk2325

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess I could have worded my question a little better.

    If two candidates had the exact same stats and one went to SLS while the other didn't, would the SLS attendee receive the nomination?
     
  12. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    378
    Likes Received:
    29
    I don't think anyone can really say as that is something only the MOC's can figure out and who knows what's going on in their heads sometimes :lol: It does serve as a talking point for you in your interviews though that you can show you are serious about what you are pursuing and are researching, etc which is a nice thing to have as well on top of all your other things that you get to talk about
     
  13. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    2,644
    Likes Received:
    263
    There is not going to be a definitive answer to that question because every MOC is different.
    However, 'some' MOCs like to see that a candidate has attended SLS because it shows that WP has already given that candidate 'competitive' status.
     
  14. patentesq

    patentesq Parent

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,587
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you all for commenting on the benefits of SLS! It is an awesome program and doesn't appear to conflict with Girls State in my state (although I noticed that the second session does conflict with Girls State/ Boys State in many other states). The USMA brochure states that a principal benefit is helping the DD/DS determine whether USMA really is the place for them. http://admissions.usma.edu/pdf/wp_SLS_11d.pdf I think this will be important for my DD.

    We'll see where he interests are in a couple of years (her latest interest is to become a fighter jet pilot!).
     

Share This Page